Dakota Download Governor Burgum's Weekly Update - September 15, 2019

Joyce Mehrer is presented with a sash by last year's Gold Star Mother of the Year, Harriet Goodiron, whose son, Cpl. Nathan Goodiron, was killed in 2006 in Afghanistan.

Lt. Gov. Sanford recognizes Gold Star Mothers, reads proclamation in Minot

Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford presented a proclamation to North Dakota Gold Star Mother of the Year Joyce Mehrer on Wednesday, Sept. 11, during a ceremony in Minot in honor of the mothers who have lost children in combat.

Mehrer is the mother of Cpl. Curtis Mehrer, who was 21 years old when he was killed June 6, 2006, while serving with the North Dakota National Guard's 188th Air Defense Artillery Security Forces in Afghanistan.

Sanford read the Gold Star Mothers' and Families' Day proclamation signed by Gov. Doug Burgum, which states in part, "These Gold Star mothers and families have endured the loss of loved ones and have earned and deserve the utmost respect and admiration from their fellow citizens for their inspiring strength and determination."

"The Gold Star Mothers of these soldiers deserve our undying gratitude for the service of their sons and the sacrifice they made for our country as parents," Sanford said.

Click the link below for the full proclamation.

Burgum, Baesler announce members of K-12 Education Coordinating Council

Gov. Burgum and State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler on Friday announced the members of the newly formed K-12 Education Coordinating Council, which will promote collaboration across all K-12 education entities in North Dakota as recommended by the Governor’s Innovative Education Task Force.

“By encouraging collaboration and alignment, this diverse group of experienced educators, administrators and legislators will ensure that innovative best practices are shared and supported by all educational stakeholders,” Burgum said. “We are grateful to the Task Force for its recommendation to create this K-12 Education Coordinating Council, to the Legislature for supporting it and to all of the Council members for their leadership and dedication to ensuring the best outcome students.”

The Coordinating Council was established through Senate Bill 2215 and consists of 18 members including legislators, executive branch leaders and educators. Seven of the members are appointed by the governor.

Among other duties, the council is tasked with identifying opportunities for greater collaboration among state education entities and stakeholders; reviewing the effectiveness and efficiency of access and delivery of education services; and evaluating education trends and recommending policy changes.

“In North Dakota, we have many education stakeholder groups with different areas of expertise, but we all share the same goal – they want what is best for students,” Baesler said. “The K-12 Education Coordinating Council will help us all keep focused on doing what is best for students, and to make sure we are sharing the best methods and strategies for doing that.”

Click the link below to see a list of the council’s 18 members. The panel plans to hold its first meeting Sept. 30.

Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber and Sgt. Maj. Derek Heck

Huber named next deputy adjutant general; Heck will be next state command sergeant major

Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber last week was named the next deputy adjutant general for the North Dakota National Guard.

Huber is the first woman to hold this position in the North Dakota National Guard. She succeeds Brig. Gen. Robert Becklund, who is retiring on Oct. 1. Huber was recommended for the role by Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, North Dakota's adjutant general, and appointed by Gov. Burgum.

"This is a great day for the North Dakota National Guard," Gov. Burgum said. "General Huber is a highly qualified military officer with the leadership and military expertise that make her the right person to serve in this position and help lead the Soldiers, Airmen and civilians of the North Dakota National Guard."

Huber, who is currently assigned as the assistant adjutant general-Army, was promoted to brigadier general in April. As the deputy, she would serve as acting adjutant general in Dohrmann's absence.

"Brig. Gen. Huber is a proven leader; she is the right person at the right time to serve in this important position," Maj. Gen. Dohrmann said, North Dakota adjutant general. "She has deployed twice, served at every level of command and been a key member of our headquarters' staff. Her dedication to our organization and passion for serving our Soldiers, Airmen, civilian employees, families and survivors, make her a great addition to our leadership team."

Read more about Huber's background here.

Burgum also congratulated Sgt. Maj. Derek Heck on being announced as the next state command sergeant major, calling him another great addition to the National Guard's leadership team. Heck will assume those duties from current Command Sgt. Maj. David Lien in a ceremony later this fall.

As state command sergeant major, Heck will be the principle senior advisor to the Adjutant General and Army commander on enlisted affairs of the North Dakota Army National Guard.

Lt. Gov. Sanford discusses REAL ID with Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Lorie Dankers and Brad Schaffer, director of the North Dakota Department of Transportation's Driver's License Division, on Wednesday at the Bismarck Airport.

Sanford joins TSA, NDDOT officials in urging REAL ID sign-up

Lt. Gov. Sanford joined officials from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) on Wednesday at the Bismarck Airport to remind North Dakota residents that starting Oct. 1, 2020, travelers will need a REAL ID-compliant form of identification to board a commercial flight.

Sanford, TSA spokeswoman Lorie Dankers and Brad Schaffer, director of NDDOT's Driver's License Division, urged North Dakotans to plan ahead to ensure compliance with REAL ID requirements.

Congress passed The REAL ID Act in 2005 to improve the reliability and accuracy of driver licenses and identification cards while inhibiting the ability of terrorists and others to evade detection by using fraudulent identification.

Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, all travelers will need a REAL ID-compliant form of identification to board a commercial flight or gain access to secure federal facilities, including military bases, nuclear facilities and some federal offices.

Burgum issues statement on EPA finalizing repeal of 2015 WOTUS rule

Gov. Burgum on Thursday issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to repeal the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.

“The EPA’s decision today to repeal the 2015 WOTUS rule is an important step for local decision-making and a recognition of states’ ability to manage their own waters effectively,” Burgum said. “The 2015 rule created confusion and uncertainty for landowners and local governments by effectively classifying almost every pond, pothole and slough as a federal managed waterway. North Dakotans care deeply about clean water and our state has some of the cleanest water in the nation. We thank EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler for today’s announcement to finalize the repeal of this rule.”

On Feb. 28, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to begin the process of rescinding or revising the WOTUS rule. Burgum expressed his gratitude for the EPA’s consultation of governors and local leaders in the process of rescinding this rule.

Podcast recaps historic signing of child services agreement between state, tribes

Check out the latest episode of Gov. Burgum's podcast, "Work Worth Doing," which recaps the ceremony where state officials and leaders of the four tribal nations headquartered in North Dakota signed updated comprehensive agreements to enhance child welfare services for Native American children and families.